ONE WEEK ABOUT Heritage by curator Frederike Huygen
This year I lectured on John Ruskin, the famous Nineteenth century critic and writer whose life and theories still are hugely inspiring. He greatly admired the Gothic style and wrote on imperfection, since he fiercely opposed the civilisation and the standardisation of his own time. Instead he loved richness of detail and creative craftsmen who left their own mark, showed inventiveness and came up with variations on a theme. An example is these choir stalls in St. Mary’s Priory church in Lancaster in which each part is slightly different. Ruskin called this kind of differentiation Delight and in fact already developed a theory on ornament in relation to meaningful labour. He introduced other categories as well that might still be interesting to explore, such as Rudeness and Savageness.